This blog post is by Nathan Young, self-advocate and founder of Autism Candles.
Have you ever dreamed nearly everyday of the same thing and thought it was unlikely to come true , but it did? I have and it was amazing and today I no longer dream of it, but create within it's reality. For those with autism and developmental disabilities, including myself the prospects of gainful employment can be grim. That is when I decided to prove a point and without any possibility of failure because it wasn't part of the dream.
Where I live there are day programs for us. Like in many other areas it's hard to find businesses that are open minded enough to work with agencies for transitions. Cutting lawns or cleaning houses seems to be just about it and people in the community support that. I think much more is possible and I think we could earn enough money to do things like others do like go on vacation and even become self-sufficient enough to no longer have our freedoms removed from us by restrictive government policies.
Many who have difficulties are stuck in transition. Either having no opportunity or limited opportunities provided by agencies. This is America. The land of the free and the home of the brave. Which is what is required to create inclusive change, bravery. So I was and I never looked back.
We can do things like make candles and be self-advocates. We can advocate for each other and build what I call the disability work industry. An industry for us, by us and with the help of others. This industry is part of the economy and we do things like make candles, cut lawns, clean houses and so many more things to come. There are far to many possibilities in this free country then that of accepting how it is things are now when we can boldly try new things with the support of others.
I tried very hard and it was amazing. Front pages of newspapers, television news, others news articles, radio awareness for years and people telling one another about the project I made. To make candles to employ others like myself with autism and those of the developmental disability diversity. So as long as we do good work and be competitive many tend to be loyal supporters that are customers. There are so many possibilities that if we believe enough to try we may just succeed and others will help. Success might not come really fast but being persistent and believing in the possibility of success if we keep trying helps out a lot.